Hundreds of fast-food workers protested in New York Tuesday, demanding their minimum wages be doubled as part of a nationwide effort that has drawn on the organizational lessons of the Occupy movement.
Along with thousands of fast-food workers in at least seven cities this week, Naquasia LeGrand decided to walk off her job at KFC for a day and demand a “living wage” of $15 an hour.
Chanting “we can’t survive on seven twenty five” – a reference to the federal minimum wage – Ms. LeGrand marched with hundreds of other workers yesterday in a nation-wide effort to draw attention to what they say is an ever-widening income gap.
New York’s contingent of protesters, some of whom carried signs saying “supersize my pay,” demonstrated all day in front of a number of McDonald’s, Wendy’s, and KFC’s throughout Brooklyn and Manhattan.
It is a scene playing out in other cities as well: Kansas City fast food and retail workers walked out Tuesday, and Milwaukee workers plan their one-day strike on Thursday. Chicago, Detroit, and St. Louis workers have also walked off the job – each asking for a $15-an-hour wage and the ability to unionize without reprisals from their employers.
This week’s strikes cast light on a simmering social movement of media-savvy youth and urban low-wage workers that began with the Occupy Wall Street protests nearly two years ago.